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Every time you buy batteries or batteries, many questions arise:

  • How expensive are batteries and batteries better than cheap ones?
  • How much is the capacity of lithium batteries more than usual?
  • How much capacity of salt batteries is less than that of alkaline ones?
  • Are batteries for digital devices different from normal?
  • Which of the batteries and rechargeable batteries costing the same?
  • Which charger is better to use for charging batteries

To get answers to these questions, Aleksey Nadezhin tested all AA and AAA batteries and batteries, which he was able to reach. As a result, 58 types of AA batteries and 35 AAA types, 44 AA batteries and 35 AAA batteries participated in the testing. A total of 255 batteries and 198 batteries were tested. So, the sample was more than decent. We summarized these scattered studies, added something from our own experience with chargers, and wrote this manual. If you are uncomfortable reading the detailed text, we recorded a video with the retelling of this article. However, the article is more detailed, reveals more details and contains links to recommended models.

Findings for the buyer of the battery (updated July 2018)

  • Most alkaline batteries differ in capacity by only 15%;
  • It is most profitable to buy Lexman and Pairdeer brand batteries from Leroy Merlin. It will be the best in terms of price / quality of AA or AAA batteries, suitable for cameras, flashlights and any other application;
  • In other stores you can safely buy the cheapest alkaline batteries (they are also called alkaline), because you will not notice much difference.
  • From what is sold in supermarkets, the best choice is GP at an average price of about 17 rubles per battery;
  • Lithium batteries are expensive, but they are lightweight, capacious and can work in the cold.
  • Salt batteries buy impractical. Even in devices with the lowest consumption, alkaline (Alkaline) will last much longer due to its long shelf life;
  • The capacity of AAA batteries is almost three times less than AA.

Battery conclusions

  • Ikea batteries are the best. If Ikea is not in your city, the legendary Panasonic Eneloop or Fujitsu with 2,000 recharging cycles announced will be a good option (a Panasonic company store appeared on Aliexpress, where you can buy 4 batteries for 900 rubles ). In fact, all three brands are produced in one plant and using the same technology. Therefore, it is worth buying those that are cheaper and those that are easier to get.
  • The maximum real capacity for NiMh batteries of AA format is 2550 mAh, for AAA - 1060 mAh. All batteries, on which 2600, 2700, 2800 mAh and more are written, have a smaller capacity in reality.
  • NiMh batteries, unlike batteries, almost do not reduce the amount of energy given off at high discharge currents. Therefore, if you need a battery for a flash or a radio-controlled model remote control, it is better to use a battery.
  • During the month of storage, conventional batteries lose 4-20% of the charge. The best of all are batteries with LSD technology (meaning low self-discharge — about 20% over several years) and batteries similar to them.
  • New LSD batteries are usually 70% charged.

The best charger for batteries

Surprisingly, branded battery chargers from battery manufacturers are not always the best choice. And it's not just the price (although it is also there), but the fact that such “charging” only charges the batteries, not worrying about keeping the battery in good shape and extending its service life.

We have tested different models of chargers, and believes that the Liitokala lii - 500 charger is suitable for most battery users. This device allows you to simultaneously charge up to 4 batteries, independently determines the type of battery used and individually “works” with each of them. There are more advanced (and more expensive) models, including with the function of training batteries and revitalizing the dead "cans", but if you initially use the right batteries, these functions are not particularly needed.

Why should you believe this article?

This material is a brief extract from several studies of Alexey Nadyozhin (see the grand testing of batteries and accumulators ). These studies are so extensive that we do not know of any other similar source in Russia or abroad. Plus, we took into account all the updates on the batteries, so that the article always remains relevant. And they added the results of their own large research on chargers.Therefore, yes, this article can be trusted. And yes, you can choose good batteries for it.

Grand testing of AA and AAA batteries

During the study, Alex tested 255 batteries. Three main modes were used:

  • DC discharge 200 mA. Such a load is peculiar to electronic toys;
  • Discharge pulse 1000 mA (10 seconds load, 10 seconds pause). Such a load is peculiar to digital devices;
  • Discharge pulses 2500 mA (10 seconds load, 20 seconds pause). Such a load is characteristic of powerful digital devices - cameras, flashes.

The graph below clearly shows how different types of batteries behave:

The first five lines are how salt batteries behave. It is clearly seen how much less their capacity. The last three lines are lithium batteries. They not only have a large capacity, but also discharge in another way: the voltage on them does not decrease almost to the very end, and then drops sharply. This is especially pronounced in the GP Lithium battery. In addition, lithium batteries can work in the cold.

Among the many similar alkaline batteries, two outsiders are clearly visible - Sony Platinum and Panasonic Alkaline and two leaders - Duracell Turbo Max and Ansmann X-Power. The remaining batteries differ in capacity by only 15%.

Thus, if you need constant high currents (a flash in a camera, an alarm fob, a radio-controlled model remote) and you work in the winter, you should prefer lithium batteries. In all other cases, there is not much difference what kind of battery you buy.

AA batteries

Now, as for the capacitance at different discharge currents. In the first diagram, AA batteries are sorted by capacity at a discharge current of 200 mA:

It is clearly seen from the diagram that different batteries manifest themselves differently when discharged by high and low currents. For example, Camelion Plus Alkaline gives more energy than Camelion Digi Alkaline on a small current. And on the big all the way around. As a rule, on batteries designed for large currents indicate that they are designed for digital devices. In this case, there are many universal batteries that work perfectly with any currents.

 

If we average the amount of energy that batteries give out at high and low currents and based on the results and price of batteries (in some cases the price is approximate), we get a chart of the cost of one watt-hour for all AA batteries. Accordingly, the smaller, the better.

As you can see, Auchan and Ikea batteries have the best quality / price ratio. In other cases, it is worth buying the cheapest alkaline batteries.

Update from March 2018 : at the moment, Ikea batteries have ceased to be leaders in terms of price / quality ratio. For more information, see the section on AAA batteries.

AAA batteries

All AAA batteries were discharged with a direct current of 200 mA. Some types of batteries passed the second test - discharge with current of 1000 mA in the “constant resistance” mode (the current decreased as the discharge progressed). This mode is used to emulate the operation of batteries in a flashlight.

In AAA format, Duracell Turbo Max turned out to be far from the best alkaline battery. Many cheap batteries (for example Ikea, Navigator, aro, FlexPower) had a larger capacity.

Battery Update 2018

In March of this year, a study update from Alexey was released. As already shown above, buying expensive batteries does not make sense, because in terms of the price / capacity ratio, they are practically not inferior (or even inferior) to their cheaper counterparts. Therefore, in a new study, Alexei focused on low-cost options from Ikea, Auchan and Leroy Merlin stores.

As studies at high (1A) and low currents (200 mA) have shown, a recent favorite, Ikea batteries, did not perform well, while Lexman and Pairdeer batteries were the best in terms of price / capacity ratio. And that is what we offer to buy.

Battery Price per unit, rub 200 mA discharge Rank 1A
mWh mWh / rub mWh mWh / rub
Every day (Auchan) 11.47 1000 87 580 51
Trophy 12.38 1070 86 640 52
Pairdeer (Leroy Merlin) 12.8 1110 87 690 54
Lexman (Leroy Merlin) 12 1130 94 630 53
Auchan (yellow) 13.28 870 66 380 29
Ikea 15.9 980 62 540 34
Auchan 16.44 1100 67 630 38
GP 16.99 1060 62 530 31

Grand testing of AA and AAA batteries

During this study, Alex tested 198 batteries. Batteries with a capacity above 1500 mAh were charged with a current of 700-800 mA, batteries of a smaller capacity with a current of 500-600 mA. Accordingly, when discharging, batteries with a capacity above 1500 mAh were discharged with currents of 500 mA and 2500 mA, and batteries of a smaller capacity were discharged with currents of 200 mA and 1000 mA.


The first test is a test for capacity, which just concludes that the maximum battery capacity is 2550 mAh, which marketers would not write on the package.

For AAA format, this figure is 1100 mAh. The most interesting thing is that more than half of all tested batteries are manufactured using LSD technology (Low Self-Discharge - literally, low self-discharge).Therefore, these batteries are sold already charged. Moreover, according to a later study by Alexei, for 7 months of lying on the shelf, the Fujitsu 2550 LSD and Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries and the updated Ikea Ladda behave best of all (interestingly, all three brands are, in fact, made at one plant and Ikea Ladda is complete copy of Eneloop Pro). Thus, for 7 months “idle” batteries have lost only about 10-15% of capacity.

Now for the prices. Ikea Ladda 2450 which are almost a full copy of the famous Panasonic Eneloop Pro at the same time are twice as cheap (500 rubles for a package of 4 AA "cans" versus 1000 rubles for similar Eneloop Pro. I specifically do not provide any graphs, because the updated Ikea batteries Alexey I tested it after I wrote the main review. However, at the moment this is the most affordable and highest quality offer on the market.

If the Ikea store in your city is not available, then the Fujitsu 2550 LSD or Panasonic Eneloop become the best purchase. Eneloop, as a rule, are expensive, but sometimes there are promotions that you can buy from with a good discount.

The best charger for AA, AAA and size 18650 batteries

As mentioned at the very beginning of the article, branded chargers are not always the best choice. As a rule, they perform only one function - the battery charge. And they do it badly. The fact is that the manufacturer is not very interested in the battery serving you for a very long time and its capacity was kept in the declared area just as long. Indeed, in this case, you will not be buying new “banks” for a long time.

A small example. Many branded chargers allow you to charge batteries in pairs only, without worrying about the individual condition of each battery. It is clear that such a pair will be charged to the capacity of the weakest of the batteries. If one of them degrades, it turns out that the whole pair degrades.Therefore, the correct charging station charges each battery individually.

Another example: rarely what brand-name charging allows you to choose the amperage with which the battery will be charged, while it is considered correct to charge the battery with a current of 0.3 of the battery capacity for NiMh and 0.1 for old NiCd batteries. Proper charging allows you to choose the current strength, either automatically or at the request of the user.

And third, the right charge allows you to discharge the battery to the correct lower value (which is not always possible for gadgets using it), and then fully charge it. This is necessary to eliminate the memory effect of NiMH batteries. Plus, proper charging allows you to “train the battery” and restore dead bodies to zero.

After testing different types of chargers, we believe Liitokala lii-500 is the best choice for an undemanding user. This charging station allows you to automatically determine the type of batteries, charge in an individual mode, all 4 batteries. Plus, it is able, if necessary, to properly discharge and charge them.

Important note to the video: high charging currents should be set only for those batteries that can really be charged like that. For example, Li-ion. In the case of NiMh brand Eneloop or Ikea, you should trust the automation. And in the case of AAA batteries of the old type NiCd, it is necessary to choose the smallest current.

This charging station has several drawbacks. For example, batteries should be inserted “upside down”, the rest are more important for professional users of batteries (for example, the minimum current is only 300 mA, which is not very useful for average AAA batteries in quality). However, all semi-professional models with a lower charge current, and, including, with a training regime, are much more expensive. Therefore, Liitokala lii-500 can be safely recommended as a relatively inexpensive good charge for keeping your batteries in order.

If you have a lot of AAA batteries, you should buy a Miboxer C4 that can charge them with a low current of 150 mA, but, alas, the device has only charge-discharge-charge and only one of the slots.Nevertheless, even without a discharge, this is one of the most interesting models. Firstly, it is well made. Secondly, it has a large and informative screen. Thirdly, it is just more pleasantly made. You can learn more about it from the video published at the beginning of the article.

Original: https://vybor-prost.ru/2015/08/03/%D0%B0%D0%B0-%D0%B0%D0%B0%D0%B0-battery/